Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
The entire day yesterday was two days at least, if we can base anything at all on perception. And maybe that had something to do with the way it hit me late in the evening on the O'Hare airport tarmac. It began prior to 7 a.m. in San Francisco, California, with a groggy wake-up call, some European coffee and a cab ride through a rainy Bay Area, past all of the moored sailboats and the quiet Sunday morning harbors. It took us to Seattle for a couple of hours and some Burger King, then on to Chicago and a delay and some lake effect snow, creating a terminal full of pissy men and women. Finally, two hours later than expected, is when we boarded a final plane to bring us home. We took to a final flight of steps and then out into weather that we'd forgotten for a good solid week. The door opened and the night's blackness was colder than blue. It was biting and raw. The loud airplanes were idling here and there, none just completely shut off and dead for the evening. The night felt like something else altogether though, the second that we moved outdoors. It felt as if we were surrounded by either a big blobby, winter being - something so alive and haunting, or a posse of invisible spooks bonded together to occupy all of the other space that wasn't us as we walked single-file 200 some yards to the open hatch of the small plane shivering there in the night. The air that was storming out of my mouth was thicker than it had ever been before and thickening as it struck the frigid air. It was like fire-breathing in reverse, blasting and voluminous, so much fun that I just kept blowing as if there was a Cuban hanging out on my lips. It was the kind of startlingly alive and unshakable winter evening that could have borne the Minneapolis band Dark Dark Dark. Though the group triples up on a word that signifies that which is not day, it's our hypothesis that what they actually mean to say is Cold three times over, every time they use the word Dark. There is a feeling of lights gone or diminished to their guitar pickings and accordion and stand-up bass dealings, but it's not the most significant feeling. What's more of note is the slow waltz of characteristic winter month functions, where people cover themselves in as much clothing as possible, barely gaze anywhere outside of their warm walls and windows and ponder all of the weighty and uncomfortable issues that the lively months don't leave time for. It's a time when children are conceived out of boredom or out of some new embrace. We huddle and feel closed in, cursing where we live with all kinds of conviction. Nona Marie Invie and Marshall LaCourt's vocals are as compatible as lovers and give all of their image-heavy words of stark atmospheric recognizance enough illumination to have no understanding of true dark. They're mesmerizing in the way they work human frailty and susceptibility into the foggy membranes of the songs, spraying them with flurries and the winds that make you feel naked. They're mesmerizing in the way that the cold feel pleasurable naked.
Dark Dark Dark